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Bears to Discuss New Stadium Proposal with Gov. Pritzker's


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Vince Carbonneau
May 1, 2024  (9:15)
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Bears potential new stadium
Photo credit: Bears.com

The Chicago Bears are set to meet with Governor JB Pritzker's senior aides on Wednesday to discuss a proposal for a new enclosed stadium on the lakefront, marking their first formal discussion on the matter.

Governor Pritzker has consistently opposed using public funds for new sports facilities, and sources close to him suggest that no financial proposal from the Bears is likely to sway his stance.
The Bears recently unveiled plans for a $4.7 billion domed stadium near Soldier Field, with the team contributing just over $2 billion. They are seeking $900 million from the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, supported by a 2% hotel tax previously used for sports projects in Chicago.
However, Frank Bilecki, Executive Director of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, warned that the actual taxpayer cost could reach $6.9 billion when including existing debt and interest over 40 years. This higher cost mirrors the way homeowners pay significantly more than a house's sale price over the duration of a mortgage.
Mayor Brandon Johnson has endorsed the plan, highlighting that it involves no new taxes and would provide public-use facilities. Nevertheless, Governor Pritzker remains uninterested, focusing on greater public benefits before considering any state involvement.
Despite the focus on a lakefront location, the Bears own the Arlington Park property, a potential alternative site, purchased in early 2023 for $197.2 million. Recent disagreements over property taxes at this site have left its future as a stadium location uncertain.
The team's pursuit of the lakefront project continues amidst mixed reactions, with Arlington Heights still seen as a viable alternative should the current plans falter.
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MAY 1   |   117 ANSWERS
Bears to Discuss New Stadium Proposal with Gov. Pritzker's

Should public funds be used for the Bears' new stadium?

Yes3630.8 %
No8169.2 %
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